One of the most reputed cheeses from the Croatian Island of Pag, Paski sir is produced from a unique breed of small sheep, Paska Ovca - known for their intensely salty and limited milk output. Since Croatia doesn’t allow the production of animal rennet, Paski sir is made with the help of microbial rennet, thus making it a vegetarian cheese.
Paski sir is a hard, aged cheese matured for at least 4 months, although manufacturers can offer it at various maturation periods from the minimum to 1.5 years. Beneath the thin rind, the pate varies from light to dark yellow depending on age. The texture alters from dry to flaky with the addition of pleasant graininess. It offers a characteristic flavour derived by rubbing the cheese with olive oil and ash, before it’s left for maturing. The flavour of younger wheels reveals quite a bit of saltiness along with a distinct savoury and aromatic herbal taste. As the cheese matures, the savoury flavour and tanginess become stronger. Paški sir tastes best when served with fresh fruits such as grapes, prosciutto, wildflower honey or olive oil.
Other cheeses from Croatia: